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Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

Your source of IBM database software news (DB2, Informix, Hadoop, & more)

Posts Tagged ‘Oracle Exadata

How IBM and Oracle Approach Big Data Solutions

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This blog posts refers to the definition of Big Data commonly in use today. I do not include mainframe-based solutions, which some people might argue tackle Big Data challenges.

Both IBM and Oracle are going after the Big Data market. However, they are taking different approaches. I’m going to take a few moments to have a very brief look at what both companies are doing.

First of all, Oracle have introduced an “appliance” for Big Data. IBM have not. I put the word appliance in quotes because I consider this Oracle appliance to be closer in nature to an integrated collection of hardware and software components, rather than a true appliance that is designed for ease of operation. But the more important consideration is whether an appliance even makes sense for Big Data. There is a decent examination of this topic in the following blog post from Curt Monash and the accompanying comment stream: Why you would want an appliance — and when you wouldn’t. But, regardless of your position on this subject, the fact remains that Oracle currently propose an appliance-based approach, while IBM does not.

The other area I will briefly look at is the scope of the respective vendor approaches. In the press release announcing the Oracle Big Data Appliance, Oracle claim that:

Oracle Big Data Appliance is an engineered system optimized for acquiring, organizing, and loading unstructured data into Oracle Database 11g.

IBM takes a very different approach. IBM does not see its Big Data platform as primarily being a feeder for its relational database products. Instead, IBM sees this as being one possible use case. However, the way that customers want to use Big Data technologies extend well beyond that use case. IBM is designing its Big Data platform to cater for a wide variety of solutions, some of which involve relational solutions and some of which do not. For instance, the IBM Big Data platform includes:

  • BigInsights for Hadoop-based data processing (regardless of the destination of the data)
  • Streams for analyzing data in motion (where you don’t necessarily store the data)
  • TimeSeries for smart meter and sensor data management
  • and more

So, as you can see, there are fundamental differences in the ways that IBM and Oracle are developing products for Big Data solutions. For more information, see IBM Big Data and Oracle Big Data.

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Performance Information for Oracle Exadata?

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It is difficult to get direct performance comparisons between Oracle Exadata and competing products. Last month, The Register published what may be such a comparison in its IBM: Our appliance servers smoke Ellison’s ‘phony baloney’ article. They include an image that compares the performance and price of the IBM Smart Analytics System with a leading competitor. The IBM Smart Analytics System is, of course, an integrated hardware/software system for data warehousing and analytics that is based on DB2. The article covers an IBM Investor Day presentation that was delivered by Steve Mills of IBM, and includes the following explanatory passage:

“We benchmark all the time,” Mills said, and he pulled out some real tests to support his point. “We have a favorite competitor who likes the color red. We like the color blue. This is real workload benchmarking, not some phony baloney made-up thing that goes in an ad. We deliver a system that is fast for what customers run.”

Here is the chart that is included in the article. The Register assert that the competitor in red is Oracle Exadata.

Comparing Performance of IBM Smart Analytics System and Oracle Exadata

Written by Conor O'Mahony

April 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

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